Exercise Doesn’t Really Help Depressed People

I told you. Didn’t I tell you?

Study participants, all of whom were diagnosed with depression, were split into two groups: one received “physical activity intervention” (which sounds like a scary new reality TV show) along with normal care for a year, while the other people weren’t forced to exert themselves. The people in the group that worked out for twelve months said the exercise didn’t alleviate their depression in the slightest.

via Exercise Doesn’t Really Help Depressed People.

Recovering Goth

I am thinking of giving my real site a sort of Gorey-inspired theme, and also dressing up my avatar in stripy tights and OH MY GOD AREN’T I TOO OLD FOR THIS? (I’m probably still going to do it, though.)

2011: Let Me Sum Up

I just spent the last 36 hours straight in bed with a feverish kid. I woke up this morning and my back and shoulders hurt so badly I could barely move (when he’s sick, he wants to be held, so I’ve been in all sorts of weird configurations) but the kid was better, so yay! Except then, apropos of nothing, he threw up all over the living room.

This, I think, is a perfect encapsulation of 2011: the year of suck. Just when you think things are going to get better, you’re cleaning half-digested Cheerios off the carpet.

It wasn’t all bad. Our new book came out, and it rocks out loud. We moved to Sellwood, where we have friendly neighbors and a yard and a house that no one lives above. The kid started kindergarten (!!!), which is just crazy talk, because wasn’t he just a tiny little thing that I could fit under my chin? And we got a new cat, because cats are all good things, even when they pee on the rug, Maru.

So, yeah. Not all bad.

The rest of it was pretty roundly awful, to varying degrees, and who wants to hear about that? Instead I will just refer you to the encapsulated version, above.

I’m not doing any resolutions this year. Fuck resolutions. I’m just working on getting out of bed on a regular basis. Honestly, when you find yourself saying things like “No, I get dressed most days,” there might be some sort of issue there. And maybe not having to declare bankruptcy. That might be awesome, too. (Or maybe bankruptcy is awesome, and I’ll be all, you guys, why didn’t you tell me how great bankruptcy is? And you’ll be all, dude, you just screwed yourself out of all your credit cards, and then I will cry.)

Next year will have to be better, because honestly how could it not? That’s how optimism works, right?

Happy New Year, kids!

a world of ow

So I bet you will be SHOCKED to hear this, but health problems don’t just disappear if you ignore them! I KNOW, right? It’s been like a year since I had The Pain (you may remember The Pain as having been diagnosed as ovarian cysts, and then re-diagnosed as you’re really annoying and should just go on Prozac to be more malleable, and then re-diagnosed as an ulcer, and then un-diagnosed as an ulcer because my innards look great, isn’t that good news? And then I ran out of health insurance and also it didn’t hurt for a while so I decided it was fine). WELL, The Pain, it is back. With a vengeance. I thought I was dying yesterday, and that’s not hyperbole. I actually thought something important had ruptured internally and that I would die of it, which would have been a relief because OH MY GOD THE PAIN.

It only lasted about two hours. Only. Then The Pain turned into just regular old non-capitalized pain, which is where I am right now. Hurts to move, hurts to stand up, hurts to cough, but if I’m very still it’s kind of OK. I’d complain somewhat more vociferously about how my entire abdomen feels like someone beat it up, but since I’m not writhing on the bed in acute agony I figure I ought to be pretty grateful.

Pain is stupid. Why couldn’t I be one of those creepy people who you can poke with knives and they don’t even notice?

So, to recap: in the last month I’ve had a nasty cold, two migraines, a two-hour Pain extravaganza and also my left wrist hurts like whoa for no discernible reason other than HA HA your wrist hurts.

YOU WIN, November.

UPDATE: I went to the doctor, who sent me off to have a CAT scan. So, see, I’m not TOTALLY dropping the ball here.

UPDATE #2: The CAT scan said (CAT scans talk, you know) that I do NOT have appendicitis, and also that I DO have ovarian cysts, and also that the ovarian cysts did not cause The Pain, because of reasons. HOWEVER, new Kaiser Doc is an internist & will be doing ACTUAL TESTS to figure out what IS causing The Pain. So yay. Ish.

Breaking Dawn in Fifteen Minutes is HERE

Breaking Dawn in Fifteen Minutes is HERE


Two of my FAVORITE BOOKS of this year are up for Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards. If you haven’t read them, go do that right now, and then vote! Or the other way around, I’m not picky.


…and vote for The Name of the Star in the Goodreads Readers’ Choice Awards? Or for The Last Little Blue Envelope in a TOTALL DIFFERENT category? Perhaps you have time to vote for both? Maybe?




I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel so out of place. It’s not the existential angst I went through during my teenage years (and, let’s be honest here, most of my twenties as well). It’s more a feeling that everything is ever so slightly wrong. (I was going to insert a bullet list of ways things are actually wrong, but that was depressing, so…wheeze.) My point is, shouldn’t I be freaking out about the things that are legitimately ungood and worrying less about the vague sense of malaise hovering over my head?

I feel unsettled, which conjures up the mental image of stalking around in a haunted manner but in reality consists of spending the day working from bed, just like every other day. Fortunately I stopped getting better from my cold, so I’m spending my energy on trying to breathe through my wheezy lungs rather than contemplating creative ways to end myself. So that’s good, right?

Always looking on the bright side, that’s me.

In other news: the NaNo novel is chugging along (don’t ask me how far behind I am on word count), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize that the main character has a much more interesting back story than I’d originally planned. When you’re writing all in a rush like this, you find that things tend to sort of develop on their own, which is awesome and fun and probably a little bit irresponsible but whatever. I’m looking forward to a few solid days of writing once I get some work projects off my plate.

And as soon as my lungs stop sounding like something out of a horror film, I’m going to start doing some goddamned yoga. Because why not? I’m pretty sure I don’t need to get out of bed for that.*

*I do actually get out of bed, just fyi. I am occasionally prone to hyperbole. I KNOW.

Out, damned cold

I’m kicking ass at NaNoWriMo! No, wait. Take that and reverse it. NaNoWriMo is kicking my ass, but it’s okay, because everything else is kicking my ass too, because I’ve spent the last two weeks doing battle with the nastiest almost-cold ever. First I was getting the cold: tired, sore, cranky, scratchy throat, no energy. Then I was getting over the cold: tired, sore, cranky, hacky lungs, no energy. Apparently I skipped the part where I was actually sick, so…yay? But still.

The bright side to being distractingly sick is that I haven’t had the energy to properly stress out about all of the things I’m failing to do. And there are a lot of things! I’m not just saying that because I’m depressed (although, hey, if you’ve ever wondered about exactly how many things about you suck, depression can shine a Klieg light on each and every one of them). Just ask all the bill collectors. Oh the stories they could tell, if only I would answer their calls! (Which I am not. Because I can’t pay them, and really, how many times do I need to have that conversation?)

Not being able to pay my bills seriously bums me out. I worked really fucking hard to not be that person. After growing up on welfare, with various utilities constantly in a state of will-they or won’t-they shut them off today, I NEVER wanted to have that sense of helplessness again. And yet. AND YET. Granted, the bills I can’t pay currently aren’t of the sustenance-level variety (YET) but I still just want to lay down and die every time a due date passes and our bank account fails to inflate accordingly. I’m working really hard, too – it’s just not enough. None of it is enough.

Bah. Did I mention I’m feeling less sick? You know what that means. WELCOME BACK, CRIPPLING DEPRESSION. I HAVE MISSED YOU.

Perpetual Affective Disorder

I have reached the exciting point in my depression when I can’t even be bothered to pretend that I’m a functional adult. Show up at the bus stop to drop off my kid in my pajamas? Sure! Spend an entire month working not just from home but from bed? Why not! Seriously, if it’s been MORE THAN A YEAR and I’ve had maybe THREE GOOD DAYS I figure the likelihood of convincing the world at large that I’m fine is pretty slim.

If I were keeping a chart (which I am not, thank god) I’d probably notice that I have one or two relatively OK days and then a string of OMG WHY WHY WHY days, punctuated by the occasional panic attack or major fit of body dysmorphia (don’t ask). So it hasn’t been boring, at least.

I’m lucky. I have a job that is doable from a reclining position and which does not require me to change out of my pajamas or interact with anyone else on a regular basis. I have a family who does not expect much from me and so isn’t particularly disappointed when “not much” is all I can manage (actually, I think they’re relieved, because at least when I’m not doing much I’m not actively fucking things up NO WAIT THAT’S THE DEPRESSION TALKING, PROBABLY). I’m not into any of the more grievous versions of self-harm (booze, drugs, cutting, whatever) and really, if the worst thing I do is loathe myself all the time and eat too much sugar, it’s probably not that big of a deal, except for the part where I’m FUCKING MISERABLE but whatever, you win some, you lose some, am I right?

It would be LOVELY if I could take a pill or a handful of pills to turn me into a normal person, but the pills just make me worse in some (or lots of) new and exciting ways, AND ALSO don’t fix what was wrong in the first place. It would be even lovelier if I could afford therapy, but, well, there’s a reason for the panic attacks and that reason is entirely comprised of money and the fact that we don’t have any. So.

Hey, you are saying to yourself. This post is not particularly funny, or clever, or uplifting. To which I respond WELCOME TO THE INSIDE OF MY HEAD. But! Lest you think that I have abandoned all sense of personal responsibility, I will share with you now the varied and multi-hued coping strategies I manage to employ for much of my depressive experience:

1) Find something to obsess over. Currently, that something is The Vampire Diaries, and the point of The Vampire Diaries is Ian Somerhalder. Next up: watching all the other things I can find that he is in, except Lost, which I have seen (and don’t get me started on the ending you guys, for serious, or the lack of cohesion in the plot lines, or HEY WAIT A SECOND I THOUGHT I WASN’T GOING TO GET STARTED), or Tell Me You Love Me, which I did watch, actually, except it made me feel creepy because UNEXPECTED SOFTCORE PORN IS UNEXPECTED.*

2) Write. As I am doing NaNoWriMo again this year, I choose to look at it as a form of self-medication. Let’s just hope we don’t have a repeat of ’08 (or was it ’09?) in which I failed to finish my novel AND quit taking Prozac all at the same time and had a complete psychotic break.

3) Avoid talking to people. This one is easy. Except that sometimes I think it’s acceptable to do things like go out for a drink with a friend and decide that I’m going to SHARE, and then, you know, AWKWARD. My depression is AWKWARD. Also I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am, and when I drink, I think I am REALLY FUNNY.**

4) Bathe regularly. This one is a work in progress. (See above re: working in bed without changing into pajamas. What’s the point of bathing, really?). I do tend to feel better when I am not wallowing in my own filth, so there is that.

5) …I don’t have a number 5. Sorry.

*Not that I have a problem with porn, softcore or otherwise, but give a girl some warning, is all I’m saying. It reminded me of when I watched Sex, Lies and Videotape with my high-school boyfriend and his MOM one time, and every time there was a sex scene or someone talked about masturbation (which is THE WHOLE MOVIE) I was so exquisitely uncomfortable I was sure I would actually lose the ability to speak and possibly I would also die. Except when I watched Tell Me You Love Me I was alone, so AT LEAST THERE IS THAT.

**And LOUD. Oh my god, I can barely even THINK about how loudly I talk without breaking out in metaphorical hives. I mean, my social skills are few on a GOOD DAY but WHY? WHY DO I HAVE TO TALK SO LOUDLY WHEN I DRINK? …I’m doing it again, aren’t I?